The name Meals on Wheels is known to many in our community, and so it should. The program has provided nutritional meals to residents of the Valley for close to 30 years through the efforts of various groups and organizations, including VON Annapolis Valley. Today, the service continues to be organized by VON with support from dedicated volunteers and a strong partnership with Valley Regional Hospital.
But even programs that work well and have a long history can be reviewed and refreshed.
“We wanted to make the service better for our clients,” says Jillian MacDonald, VON Program Coordinator. “While the program is designed to help clients have proper nutrition in the comfort of their homes, we realize it’s important to have some selection, giving them more of the foods they want and the independence in making their own choices.”
Working closely with the Nutrition and Food Services staff at Valley Regional Hospital, the program has changed from delivering a set menu to a choice-based menu. Clients can now select their meals for a three-week period with different options for each day. The menu includes soup or salad, one of two entrées, and the sweet of the day or a fresh fruit cup.
“This move was a natural progression,” says Darlene Banks, Nutrition and Food Services Supervisor. “We can provide the selection for clients in the hospital—we should be able to do it for clients in the community, too. We wanted to bring back and gain new clients; this change has enabled us to do so.”
The new menu has been in effect for a few months and the clients are thrilled with the results.
“The VON sends out a menu and we have a chance to pick. All of the meals are so good,” says a client. “We are 100 per cent satisfied with the program; the people who deliver are always so friendly and nice.”
“The clients really look forward to receiving the meals,” says Greg, a volunteer driver. “Not only are the meals nutritionally balanced, it’s also a relief to the families and caregivers of the clients to know that their loved ones are getting a healthy meal that they enjoy.”
The Meals on Wheels program is available in select areas of Kings County on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at lunchtime for a fee of $7 per meal. Meals are prepared at Valley Regional Hospital and delivered to clients’ homes by VON volunteers. For more information, please contact: Jillian MacDonald at 902-678-3415 ext: 2109.